The Gettysburg Address - November 19, 1863

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"It is the desire that, after the Oration, you, as Chief Executive of the nation, formally set apart these grounds to their sacred use by a few appropriate remarks." This was from the invitation sent to Abraham Lincoln by David Wills of the Committee for the Consecration of the National Cemetery at Gettysburg. Mr. Lincoln was the second speaker on November 19, 1863, at the dedication of the Soldiers' National Cemetery at Gettysburg. Lincoln was preceded on the podium by the famed orator Edward Everett, who spoke to the crowd for two hours. Lincoln followed with his now immortal Gettysburg Address. On November 20, Everett wrote to Lincoln: “Permit me also to express my great admiration of the thoughts expressed by you, with such eloquent simplicity & appropriateness, at the consecration of the Cemetery. I should be glad, if I could flatter myself that I came as near to the central idea of the occasion, in two hours, as you did in two minutes.” Modern historians disagree as to it's exact wording. Newspaper accounts of the event and even handwritten copies by Lincoln himself differ in their wording, punctuation, and structure. Of these versions, the Bliss version, written well after the speech as a favor for a friend, is viewed by many as the standard text. Its text differs, however, from the written versions prepared by Lincoln before and after his speech. It is the only version to which Lincoln affixed his signature, and the last he is known to have written.


Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

lincoln-gettysburg.jpg
 

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bdietzler73

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Awesome! Thank you for sharing. This is one of my most favorite days in American history. The Gettysburg Address was a major moment in our past and still holds a lot of meaning today. One of the greatest days in our country.
 

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There are five manuscripts of the Gettysburg Address, each one named for the person who received it from Lincoln. They are the Nicolay Copy ( believed to be the earliest one ), the Hay Copy, the Everett Copy ( sent to Edward Everett at his request in 1864 ), the Bancroft Copy, and the Bliss Copy ( because Lincoln titled this copy and signed it has become the standardized version and the one that appears on the Lincoln Memorial ).
 


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